Remembering 6 games in 8 days

I once coached (in some capacity) in six games in eight days. It was a wild week of football, college classes (I was a senior at the time), and four hurricanes that blew through Central Florida in a very short period of time.

Hurricane Charlie and friends blew through Central Florida in the summer of 2004, destroying our early weeks of football practice and college classes. At the time I was a senior in college. I missed the Hurricane Charlie parties because it was before practice had started and I decided to visit my family in DC. I was e-mailing coaches back and forth about my responsibilities and to obtain the playbook when it was reported a hurricane (and subsequently three more) tore through. Upon my return MCO in Orlando had an entire terminal destroyed and all flights were landing in one terminal.

At the time I was a freshman OL/LB coach and a varsity assistant on gameday. I charted the defense for the varsity up in the press box. After the delayed start, our freshman squad had 100 players come out on the first day as our varsity was coming off a 9-3 season which saw a first round playoff loss and four seniors head off to D1 colleges. Basically, we had a lot of organizing to do on the freshman level and 30+ seniors to replace on the varsity level.

In order to make up the games, we played Monday, Thursday (freshman), Friday, Monday, Thursday (freshman), Friday. It was an exhausting experience which saw our squad practicing on Saturday during the season, which was a rarity for us. We also had to cut down on the amount of full contact practices, obviously, to save bodies for the gauntlet.

As a coach, I had to find ways to cut down on the stress and avoid losing my sanity. I used the gym (and still do) to burn off stress and excess energy in order to get a good night’s sleep. I also had to e-mail my college professors and let them know I may be late or miss a class in order to fulfill my dream to be a high school football coach. Some understood, some did not.

On varsity we finished with a 2-2 split, and on freshman we finished 1-1 during the stretch. We finished the season 4-3 on freshman and 4-6 on varsity. Of course, having to over come injuries and fatigue after the gauntlet of games.

While there’s no moral to this story, it’s just an interested look back at a wild week of HS football.